In the previous episode of this podcast the unpleasant subject of the POW/MIA situation was featured. It was interesting to note some writers believe the attitude toward POWs changed during the Vietnam War. Historically this nation did not make a big deal about prisoners of war. That was a shame because in the Revolutionary War more Americans died while in captivity by the British than died on the battlefield in combat. When the war was over the prisoners were released, they were thanked, given a pension, sent home and forgotten. That attitude toward those unfortunate enough to be captured by the enemy in subsequent wars continued throughout our history until the Vietnam War.
There was so much opposition to the war many believed it caused a change in the way the country looked at its POWs held by the North Vietnamese. For the first time they began to be looked at as heroes. It is the opinion of this writer they should always have been considered as such. Think about the Americans who suffered as POWs by the Japanese during the Bataan Death March or those captured by Joachim Peiper the Waffen-SS commander during the Battle of the Bulge. All those POWs were heroes regardless of the war in which they served.
There is an organization in this country that is doing a wonderful job advocating for the benefit of American POWs and MIAs. It is known as the Honor-Release-Return advocacy group. One of the things they do is sponsor the Ride Home Event. For the past fourteen years it has taken place in Americus, Georgia where a group of interested individuals go on a motorcycle ride to the National Prisoner of War Museum in Andersonville, Georgia.
This year’s Ride Home Event was reported on by the WALB News in a story titled: ‘Ride Home’ event recognizes POW MIA day that was submitted by Amanda Hoskins, Reporter and by a mention on Talk 92.1 radio in Americus, Georgia. John Butts, Ride Home Board of Directors member said “this is one of the better, largest turnouts that I have seen.”
CLICK HERE for more information about the Honor-Release-Return advocacy group.